Sexual assault
Singapore minor assault (Representational picture) Reuters

A 45-year-old man was sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment for paying a girl $1,600 to have sex in spite of knowing that the girl was aged a minor at the time of the incident.

In Nov 2016, the 17-year-old minor, who was then aged 15 years, came to know the accused named Adrian Tan Lee Guan through a website called Seeking Arrangement. According to reports, the duo had sex multiple times in the same month and the man had asked the minor for oral sex as well.

Adrian, who is a father of one child and was working as a business development director, was found guilty during the court hearing and was sentenced to jail after he admitted three of five charges of sexual penetration of a minor.

Raja Mohan, the Deputy Public Prosecutor told the court that the victim and accused started to talk over WhatsApp, a social networking application, after they came to know each other through online.

The court also heard that the victim was picked up by Adrian on December 15, 2016. He took the girl for dinner at Pan Pacific Hotel and later they visited Capella in Sentosa for drinks.

Near the pool area of the restaurant, both had oral sex and once again inside the car while going back home. Three days later, the minor visited HDB void deck to meet the man and collect $1,600.

After receiving the money both drove to a multi-storey carpark in Hougang Street 91 and became intimate again.

During the sentencing, the DPP Mohan argued that the victim had sexually exploited and humiliated the girl.

On the other hand, Adrian's lawyer Kannan SG said during the mitigation plea that his client, who is also facing a divorce case now, had made a foolish mistake as he took further steps after knowing victim's real age.

However, earlier Anisha Joseph, manager of the Sexual Assault Care Centre at the Association of Women for Action and Research said that the rise in sexual crime cases in Singapore indicated that more people are not afraid to make a report, and have faith in the criminal justice system.

Records showed that in 2016, a total of 233 cases were filed in the State Courts, while 272 cases were lodged in 2015 and in 2012 the number was 218.

In February 2017, the Home Affairs Ministry announced several initiatives to encourage the victims of sexual assault. Even the Minister K. Shanmugam also said that the key issue should be how to encourage victims to report a sexual assault immediately.